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Writing prompt for kids writing

A-Z blogging: Fickle

Writing prompt: FICKLE

Provided by: Anna Tan, fellow participant of the A to Z challenge who is also doing fiction for the challengevisit her! And folks, drop me a prompt in the comments!

Genre: Fiction/Flash


They’re fugly—fickle and ugly, my hands.

I rest them on the table-top, and in the warm overhead light of the restaurant, my fingers look like tree roots, misaligned joints , missing nails,  left thumb like a claw, the right missing.

I fold and re-fold the napkin and make a lotus, the way my mother taught me when I was five, and not yet begun to dream of becoming a pugilist. But my fingers muck it up. The lotus looks like a mace with knobs.

There she is now in her high-necked black dress, looking as if just back from a vacation, and not from a twelve-hour day at work. I know because my men kept watch, telescopes trained through her window as she typed, took print-outs, crumpled sheets.

She comes here each Friday to dine with her husband, who works upstairs at a bank.

I fist my hands together when she walks in, and shove them under the table. I make myself invisible. Behind me, my guard does not tense, he has come to expect it. I finger the stub of my right thumb, rubbing it to the muted Tchaikovsky playing somewhere in the background.

She does not know what I look like, but she knows me better than most people. I can’t mess this up— she’s my shrink. She  can pick up a story from the lowering of a voice on the phone, a breath held back. She keeps madness at bay.

Her throat rises and falls as she drinks iced water from a sweating glass.  She orders the usual red wine and settles down to wait. I rake my twisted fingers on my throat, getting up to leave before her husband comes in.

My hands are fickle. Can’t trust them around people and their throats.

My guard follows me out a side door. Turning, I see a welcoming smile bloom on her face. I walk into the chill of the night air, my unfortunate hands in my pocket.


I’m tweeting A to Z posts at #atozchallenge.  And there’s also the Twitter A toZ Challenge Daily.

Thanks and shout-outs to organisers Arlee Bird (Tossing It Out) , Jeffrey Beesler’s (World of the Scribe),  Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh) , Jen Daiker ( Unedited), Candace Ganger (The Misadventures in Candyland) , Karen J Gowen  (Coming Down the Mountain) , Talli Roland ,  Stephen Tremp (Breakthrough Blogs )

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Arlee Bird says:

    This is a creepy tale for sure.

    Tossing It Out

  • Joy says:

    I liked this. Your guy sounds like a killer with a conscience.

  • Damyanti says:

    Thankyou all, for taking the time to comment, and I’m glad it was worth your while. There are so many posts left to go, and I hope I continue to write something to merit your visits. I’m especially grateful for those who are repeat visitors, and to those who’re on my blog for the first time, welcome.

  • Fabulous… so intense, and yet not overwhelming. Simple, but powerful.

    Very well done!

  • Jeanne Kraus says:

    So glad I ran across this in the A-Z. What beautiful writing and descriptive passages. Love love it. Will be following to see what else you post.

  • Dafeenah says:

    I have so many questions. I want to know more. This sounds like the beginning of an amazing book. You are truly talented. I love reading your work.


  • So vivid, this is excellent. I’m glad we bumped into each other, I look forward to reading more!

  • What an awesome short! I loved the ending: “My hands are fickle. Can’t trust them around people and their throats.” The mystery lover in me loves it.

  • Oh, that’s a good one. I think more is needed.

  • Tea Norman says:

    Boy, you can really write. Have you written a novel?

    [email protected]

  • Talli Roland says:

    I was hooked, too! I want more. Great F word!

  • Amazing writing! Very descriptive. I was in the room.

  • It’s a great story, just tells enough but also gives space for our imagination – my favourite kind! I’ve done a flash fiction today as well: Fawning over. 🙂
    You asked for a promt. What about hillock for Saturday? I think that’s a funny word. 🙂

  • Pam says:

    Wow! This is one well-baited hook! Like so many others I sit in rapt attention awaiting another installment in this intriguing saga.

  • Tara Smith says:

    Wow, how do you pump out a short so quickly? I couldn’t post one every day, that’s for sure. Loved this, by the way. I live the way you used ‘fickle’, as if the hands had a mind of their own.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, by the way!

  • Ellie says:

    Wow. This is a gem of a story, which has me gasping for more. Your description paints a vivd scene!

    Ellie Garratt

  • Donna Hole says:

    Oh, this is divine. Loved the line: My hands are fickle. Can’t trust them around people and their throats.”

    Totally sums it up. Wow, Love this character and all that is implied should you choose to expand his story.

    Well done.


  • Gargi Mehra says:

    Yet another impressive one! Don’t know how you roll them out with such ease. I think you write very well. The details make the story come alive.

  • Sarah says:

    Very interesting story! I’d totally want to keep reading.

  • Once again, you leave us with an amazing short! Ah, now I want to know how the narrators hands ended up that way! Great work!

    Another prompt idea, perhaps? Greed.

  • Hi Damyanti: really enjoying your writing. Yes, I’m glad to find another who is writing fiction. I’m not sure where my ongoing one will take me, but that’s the fun of all this.
    G: Gloves (works with this one)
    H: Hesitation
    I: Interdisciplinary
    J: Joker

    Hope you remain inspired.

  • walk2write says:

    Well, you’ve made another friend! Sign me up for more installments on your plan.

  • EJ Wesley says:

    Loved the short! Very cool. You should have made it the H post too! :0)

  • Damyanti says:

    Nutschell, our sneak into this character’s life ends here. Where does the story end? Who can tell ? 🙂

    Christina, after I wrote this from Fickle, I almost made this my H post, for Hands. But no one had given me that prompt, so…

    Pencilgirl, writers love compliments….thankyou!!

    TS Hendrik, thanks for your repeated visits and I’m glad it was worth your while.

    I’m trying hard to visit as many blogs as I can today, but today has an editing and a writing deadline, so it will be tough.

    I really, really heart the comments though, whether bouquets or brickbats, so do leave me a word if you read the post! Happy A-Z folks!

  • TS Hendrik says:

    This is really an intriguing short. It leaves a quietly eery impression. Really enjoyed it.

  • PencilGirl says:

    Wow! That was amazing! Just a few lines, and I can imagine the man, his character, and the situation.. 🙂
    I think this one is my favourite so far.. Great piece for Fickle.. 😀 😀

  • Those sound like some really ugly hands. You did a great job describing them.

  • Nutschell says:

    What a great story. You got me hooked. So what happens next? Btw, thanks for dropping by my blog.:)

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